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Iron Maiden found its worst music pirates - then went and played for them

I found this article REALLY interesting.

"Having an accurate real time snapshop of key data streams is all about helping inform people's decision making. If you know what drives engagement you can maximize the value of your fan base. Artists could say ‘we're getting pirated here, let's do something about it’, or ‘we're popular here, let's play a show’," said Gregory Mead, CEO and co-founder of the London-based firm.

In the case of Iron Maiden, still a top-drawing band in the U.S. and Europe after thirty years, it noted a surge in traffic in South America. Also, it saw that Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Columbia, and Chile were among the top 10 countries with the most Iron Maiden Twitter followers. There was also a huge amount of BitTorrent traffic in South America, particularly in Brazil.

Rather than send in the lawyers, Maiden sent itself in. The band has focused extensively on South American tours in recent years, one of which was filmed for the documentary "Flight 666." After all, fans can't download a concert or t-shirts. The result was massive sellouts. The São Paolo show alone grossed £1.58 million (US$2.58 million) alone.

And in a positive cycle, Maiden's online fanbase grew. According to Musicmetric, in the 12 months ending May 31, 2012, the band attracted more than 3.1 million social media fans. After its Maiden England world tour, which ran from June 2012 to October 2013, Maiden's fan base grew by five million online fans, with a significant increase in popularity in South America.

Source: How Iron Maiden found its worst music pirates -- then went and played for them


  • I love this kind of thinking...

  • Avoiding the lawyers seems so un-American though. ;-)

  • What should we do for app pirates? ;-)

  • There are so many old international bands coming to Brazil in the last years that local bands are sufferning like hell! We just can't play live anymore. No space, no interest from the public, no support, nothing. Local bands are dying. All we have here now are stupid cover bands (thousands of them!) and moribund dinossaurs from Europe and USA trying to get their last piece of meat from our bodies here. Would you pay 150 dollars or more to see Iron Maiden for the 20th time playing the same songs with the same stage production? Yes, we do... On the other hand, Nine Inch Nails had concerts cancelled beacuse there were not enough tickets sold... We live in a country with no future, just because people are not interested in the future.

  • Well, I think Iron Maiden can do anything they want about that concern themselves.
    It doesn't mean everobody must do the same.
    Here, a fan since their origins, owner of their japanese (unofficial) EP'S.
    Bad luck to Clive Burr, one of the best drummers ever.

  • I was a big fan myself, when I was 14 in 1984... T-Shirts, folders with tons of pics (still got them!), but they're just repeating themselves since Powerslave, their best album in my opinion. I prefer bands that move on in sound and concept.

  • edited December 2013

    Thought I read somewhere that between the labels and distributors cuts and downloads most acts only make money from their performances so using download maps to find their demographic is smart/survival.

  • edited March 2014


  • Plus the back catalogue.

  • Gotta wonder how much Waters made from The Wall tour??

  • More than Floyd when they toured it originally. The only person to make money was Richard Wright , and that was because he'd been fired and rehired as a session man. The tour actually lost money. I imagine mr Waters did alright last time around

  • edited March 2014


  • edited December 2013

    In their particular case this was definitely a brilliant move. As a large, already established band with the funding to put together these kind of tours, it would be stupid not to do it. The equation is not quite as simple for smaller indie groups or new artists that could not yet realistically fund and organize tours like that.

    I am a fan of Grizzly Bear and read an article recently where they were discussing how they are getting nervous about the uncertainty of the band, mainly how long they will be able to keep doing it before the financial reality forces them to reconsider their futures. They have a pretty damn good sized following so it was surprising to hear coming from them.

    I saw them on tour recently and they seem to be doing very well with their latest album and tour so hopefully this will change things for the better for them.

    Edit: This is part of the interview that I read, not the same article but they get into it a bit.
    Definitely interesting to hear a different perspective on the pirating/Spotify vs. purchasing discussion, and the downside to constant tour requirements to make a living.

    I know Radiohead and some other large artists have been very outspoken against Spotify recently, specifically on how it is just a continuation of the domination by the big companies with little to no measurable benefit for smaller labels and musicians. Interesting also considering Radiohead's own experiment with In Rainbows.

    It's a mixed bag, I use and really enjoy Spotify but still also purchase some music from iTunes and directly from artists when I want to support them. I am always interested to hear people's choices in not only how but why they obtain music a certain way.

    One thing that has never made sense to me, why do people purchase Top 10 mega pop radio hits? You basically have to go out of your way to NOT hear the same 5 songs everywhere you turn, at least here in America. I can't imagine a practical need for a personal copy when it's being force fed through every radio station, commercial and shopping experience imaginable, haha.

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